Monday, June 27, 2011

Deja Vu... Again?

A Patch of Flax is an 8x10 plein air oil by Shirley Fachilla.

Tennessee Vines is an 8x10 plein air oil by Shirley Fachilla.

You might have noticed. Artists love to paint the same thing over and over. Sometimes it’s for convenience sake. Morisot, for instance, painted her daughter many, many times at least partly because she was a very accessible model.

Then sometimes it’s a learning experience. Monet painted multiple views of the same haystacks varying the time of day and season to hone his understanding of light on form. Later in life, he painted the lily pads in his pond over and over. This time, it was a test of reality itself. What was reflection, what was actuality? What was water? What was sky?

Abstract expressionists are not immune. Franz Kline painted in black and white for years. He was doing many things in his paintings: studying composition in its essence, playing with negative and positive spaces, testing the creation of form.

If you look at my two landscapes, you’ll see the same house in the background. I haven’t any exalted reason for painting it more than once except like Morisot with her daughter, I like the house very, very much.


  1. These paintings really radiate heat. Beautiful color, especially the greens.

  2. On peut peindre indéfiniment le même sujet, il sera différent selon notre état d'âme du moment, de notre ressenti...
    Très jolie peinture dans tous les cas.
    Gros bisous.

  3. Thank you, Martine and Douglas.
    I, too, love to revisit places and faces time and again in my paintings.

    Douglas, in Tennessee, there's an awful lot of green in the summer. In fact, it's hard to find colors other than green!

  4. beautifully done! soft, lush and lovely!

  5. Hi Shirley,
    I'm a great proponent of painting subjects over and over. Not the same scene, but the same subject. I think the artist learns something more each time. Also, you have a wonderful way with foliage. I like the warm and cool greens you use, plus the delicacy of the few leaves you pull into focus.

  6. I draw and paint to understand and feel more connected to the places and people around me. Painting a subject repeatedly, as in a series, is a great way to develop a deeper appreciation of our subject. I often work in series these days, as it never feels like just one image represents my feelings completely. Thanks for the insight on your blog. I really enjoy the connections to art history in relation to your paintings. Beautiful work!

    Mark Nesmith


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Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...